The San Jose State University and CSU Bakersfield women's water polo teams, two squads seeking their first conference win, close out the regular season with a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) match, Saturday, April 16. Match time is 1:00 p.m. (PDT) at the Hillman Aquatics Complex on the CSU Bakersfield campus.
The 11th-ranked Spartans (16-13, 0-5 MPSF) are winners in three of their last five matches. Both losses were against MPSF opponents #4-ranked Arizona State (13-8) and #2-UCLA (13-6).
San Jose State comes into its regular-season finale as the MPSF's highest scoring team of the month with 82 goals in five matches. The Spartans set a single-match school record in a 28-8 win over Redlands at the Bruin Invite on April 3 and had its widest margin of victory in the 24-3 triumph over Cal State Monterey Bay on April 9. Only #1-ranked and MPSF leader USC with 86 goals in the Trojans' first five contests of the season scored more goals over a similar span of 2016.
The Spartans hope for a fast start against #23-ranked CSU Bakersfield (13-17, 0-4 MPSF). Other than holding a 2-1 first-quarter lead over Arizona State, San Jose State trailed after one quarter in its other four MPSF contests.
A win for the Spartans would guarantee a winning season for the third consecutive year. San Jose State was 21-10 in 2015 and 20-13 in 2014.
Spartan Rae Lekness, the conference's leading scorer with 88 goals, also ranks third on the MPSF career scoring list with 284 goals. Lekness is two shy of matching Pacific's Molly Smith's 286 goals during the 1997-2000 seasons and seven away from all-time leader Monica Vavic of USC's 291 scored during the 2012 through 2015 seasons. In eight career matches against CSU Bakersfield, the senior from Calgary has 27 goals including a six-goal effort as a freshman and a seven-goal outburst as a sophomore.
Carla Toha Vilanova is second in scoring for San Jose State with 44 goals. She has a chance to be the third Spartan freshman in the last four years to score 50 goals in a season. Donia Momen and Kelli Leabo with 28 each, McKenna Yates with 25 and Cara Robinson with 24 are four more Spartans with 20 or more goals on the season.
CSU Bakersfield seeks to end a six-game losing streak, all against top-10 ranked teams. Sophomore Ashley Paz is the Roadrunners' leading scorer with 49 goals in 30 matches and is tied for eighth among MPSF individual scorers.
Collegiate Water Polo Association national weekly coaches poll
April 13, 2016
|4. Arizona State||88|
|5. UC Irvine||78|
|9. UC Santa Barbara||66|
|10. UC San Diego||66|
|11. San José State||64|
|12. UC Davis||59|
|14. San Diego State||42|
|16. Long Beach State||39|
|19. Loyola Marymount||30|
|22. Cal Baptist||17|
|23. CSU Bakersfield||10|
|24. CSU Northridge||9|